Armed with Knowledge

Forty years young–England’s first documented rapper–Knowledge–was born in London–of Jamaican descent. He was a member of England’s first break-dance crew in 1983–The South London Breakers. On their tour of South Africa–Knowledge witnessed apartheid first hand–providing impetus and inspiration to his first political poem "Are You Listenin?" in 1984. He came to America in 1989–with a script in hand about the apartheid situation. But it was not long before Knowledge immersed himself into poetry–writing a new poem weekly on a variety of subjects and blowing away the management at Greenway Court Theater (on Melrose and Fairfax)–his weekly venue. He first came to educate himself about the Armenian genocide while walking in Westwood–CA–when he noticed a poster on a salon window about the Armenian genocide–prompting his interest in the subject. He wrote "Speak on It," the title of his first poem dedicated to the Armenian genocide. Though Knowledge had always been a fan of System Of A Down–he only decided to send a copy of his poetry CD once he learned of the band’s Armenian descent. Lead singer Serge Tankian–blown away by the album its range of topics–invited him to perform for the Axis of Justice benefit concert. He has also performed at Glendale City College with The Apex Theory–as well as UCLA ASA’s vigil–which took place on April 14. Rhyming and writing poetry is an all-consuming passion for him. Speaking about the Armenian genocide–Knowledge says–"Don’t let it just be this one day a year?one day a year doesn’t solve it." He knows more historical information about Ataturk–Talaat Pasha–Soghomon Tehlirian–among other things–than many Armenia’s do today. His zeal for revealing truth drives him.

An excerpt from "A Marked Man"

"He suffered from nervous breakdowns and he had plenty
when he arrived in Paris at the beginning of 1920
He talked about the massacres a lot and found out some facts
From the newspapers in Constantinople he found out who were the authors of these acts

"About 20,000 Armenia’s in Erzinga were removed and deported
after they’d been divided into various groups and assorted
In 1908 uniting with the Young Turks is what the Armenia’s did
But they became terribly disappointed when they saw that the Young Turks
Behaved much worse than Sultan Hamid

"In 1908 young Armenia’s working with the Young Turks
was something that you took for granted
until 40,000 Armenia’s being massacred in Adana in 1909 left them quite disenchanted

"Soghomon Tehlirian was an Armenian Protestant
Throughout the trial he maintained that he was innocent
According to Article 211 of the Penal Code he’d committed homicide
But Armenia’s everywhere knew that he was justified

"They listened closely to his explanation
The presiding judge asked the interpreter to explain to Soghomon that the indictment
Accused Soghomon of killing Talaat Pasha with premeditation
In his head the massacres would continually repeat
So he thought of killing Talaat two weeks before he gunned him down in the street

"He said that he’d never had a premeditated plan
He just woke up all of a sudden and decided to kill the man
From February 1921–Turkey and the Armenian Republic had been at war
And the fighting reached its peak between March 1st and April 1st–1921
Soghomon chose to shoot Talaat around this time because he saw his mother’s corpse
Saying–"You know Talaat is here and yet you do not seem to be concerned
You are no longer my son"

"Talaat Pasha was the one that Soghomon decided to hunt
Around this time Moscow had given its blessings for the Torco-Bolshevik attack
against Armenia and had sent Enver Pasha to command the front
When he saw his mother in a dream and heard her–he questioned what he was seeing
He began to deliberate and asked himself how he could kill another human being

"But in his heart he knew that Talaat had to die
which is why he moved to Hardenbergstrasse because Talaat lived nearby
Five weeks prior to this he’d had verified
That living in Berlin was the author of the Genocide

"Soghomon made those in attendance realize
that certain scenes from the massacre would often appear before his eyes
Soghomon had an overwhelming feeling of sadness and gloom
When he saw Talaat for the first time on March 15th
While he himself walked around his room

"The thought of killing him made him feel hesitant
until he saw Talaat on the balcony of his apartment
Seeing the man he had come to Hardenbergstrasse to find
caused his mother to once again come to his mind

"The presiding justice wanted to know what him having a pistol was all about
Soghomon said that he bought it when he was in Tiflis in 1919 because the Turks said
that if they returned and didn’t find the Germans there
then again the massacres would be carried out

"Soghomon knew what he had to do
He shot Talaat as he was heading in the direction of the zoo
He walked past him on the sidewalk and then he shot him
That’s the breakdown on how he got him
He held the barrel to Talaat’s head
Then he shot him dead

"Soghomon purposely ran along the same side of his street as his apartment
He closed in on Talaat and shot him–but he didn’t know how he felt after the incident
He’d killed the man who’d tried to wipe out his entire nation
He only realized what he’d done after they brought him to the police station

"The presiding judge asked him what was his reaction
and Soghomon said that he felt a great satisfaction
The justice asked him how he felt about it today
And Soghomon said that he still felt the same way"

"The justice–feeling that Soghomon bore a deep rooted grudge
said that no one has the right to be his own judge
No matter how great the suffering
He felt that Soghomon was wrong to do the shooting

"He shot him in the head–Talaat’s blood was spilled
He said that his mother instructed him to kill Talaat because he was guilty
of the massacres so he didn’t realize that he shouldn’t have been killed

"The justice felt that Soghomon had been too raw
He said that their laws prohibit killing and Soghomon said that he didn’t know the law
Ever since he shot Talaat–Soghomon felt a whole lot better
Prompting the judge to ask him if the Armenia’s had a vendetta

"The crowd beat him up and made him bleed
Right after he’d done the deed
A little while after Talaat was shot
He was arrested on the spot

"In shooting Talaat–Soghomon felt that the problem had been solved
He told the crowd that he and Talaat were foreigners–so they shouldn’t get involved
Shooting Talaat had set his mind free
He told the crowd that Talaat’s death was no loss to Germany"


Discussion Policy

Comments are welcomed and encouraged. Though you are fully responsible for the content you post, comments that include profanity, personal attacks or other inappropriate material will not be permitted. Asbarez reserves the right to block users who violate any of our posting standards and policies.